The first forecast by computer after polling booths closed in the second round of polling in the French general elections on the Sunday (March 19) indicated a win for the right wing.
The first forecast by computer after polling booths closed in the second round of polling in the French general elections on the Sunday (March 19) indicated a win for the right wing. Although it appeared the turnout was smaller than last week's 83 per cent, the booths were very busy and a majority of up to 80 seats appeared likely for the Government coalition parties.
SYNOPSIS: Queues formed early at polling stations in many parts of France, although voting figures at midday showed a smaller turnout than the record 35.75 per cent of the electorate who had voted by midday in last week's first round. That round was a disappointment to the opposition Socialist-Communist alliance, which originally hoped to sweep to power and remove the rightwing coalition that has ruled France for 20 years. Instead, the Left won only 48.6 per cent of the poll giving it a lead of just two per cent over the Right.
The first ballot eliminated many fringe candidates. People who voted for these minority groups had just two choices when they returned to the ballot box Left or Right. Political analysts claimed the left would need 53 per cent of the popular vote to win a parliamentary majority. In an effort to secure this support, the Socialists, Communists and the small left-wing Radical Party agreed to line up behind the best-placed candidate in each constituency after the first-round voting. But during the week, several leftwing politicians were pessimistic about success. The cliffhanger vote has led to tensions and even violence. Well-known extreme Right leader Francois Deprat died on Saturday (March 17) in a Normandy bomb attack and later a Gaullist candidate received head injuries in a street clash in Nantes.